Snap Shackles: What Can I Use a Quick Release Shackle for?

A snap shackle has unique features, like a captive pin, which makes it great for certain applications.

What is a Snap Shackle, how are they used, and what are their similarities and differences?

We carry many different types of shackles, but a snap shackle is not like an anchor shackle, d shackle, bow shackle, etc. While these other shackles are more heavy-duty and powerful, a snap shackle has unique features, like a captive pin, which makes it great for certain applications. The captive pin on these stainless steel shackles allows you to use them without worrying of dropping or losing the pin. This makes them great for many rigging and lifting applications, especially those near water or marine-like environments.

The Similarities Among Snap Shackles

First, it is important to know that all snap shackles we carry have certain similarities. They each contain a spring-loaded captive pin, which stays locked and cannot be removed from the body. In order to open this pin, you must pull to engage the opening.

These shackles are made of Stainless Steel Type 316, also known as Marine Grade Stainless Steel. Obviously, this also makes them great for marine use and nautical applications. Type 316 contains an element called molybdenum, which helps prevent against corrosive damage from saltwater. Another distinctive characteristic is you can use these shackles quickly with one hand, which is excellent for jobs where speed is important.

So, What Are the Differences?

The Eye Swivel has a circular shape, or eye shape, on one end. Note that this end has no opening. In order to use this swivel shackle, you can simply clip something to it. The Jaw Swivel has a screw pin on the end, instead of an eye-shaped opening. The pin is kept in place by a “keyring” that must be removed before the pin can actually remove from the body.

Both swivel snap shackles have a swivel on one end that can rotate 360 degrees. This helps prevent tangling, which makes it ideal to use with high-movement items. These shackles come in the following sizes: 2-3/4″, 3-1/2″, and 5″.

stainless steel eye swivel snap shackle
Eye Swivel Snap Shackle

quick release jaw swivel snap shackle
Jaw Swivel Snap Shackle

Fixed Snap Shackle and Rope Sheet Snap Shackle

The end of a Fixed Snap Shackle has an identical circular shape like the eye swivel, but it functions differently. The end is non-twisting, so the fixed snap shackle is not recommended for applications that require twisting and spinning movement. The Rope Sheet Snap Shackle has an end that is “rope friendly” for your marine and sailing applications.

The fixed snap shackle comes in sizes 2″, 2-3/4″, and 4″, and the rope sheet snap shackle comes in sizes 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3-3/4″.

stainless steel fixed snap shackle
Fixed Snap Shackle

rope shackle
Rope Sheet Snap Shackle

What Can I Use Snap Shackles For?

You can use a snap shackle in several ways. You can apply these quick release shackles for your lifting and rigging needs, or marine applications. Or, you can even use them for personal use, such as using it as a dog leash clip, for halyards (line of rope used to hoist a ladder, sail, or flag), or even on a gate.

The key to remember is that the swivel shackles are used for frequent spinning movements, while the fixed snap shackle and rope sheet snap shackles are suitable for more straight-line applications.

Keep in mind that it’s extremely important to check the working load limit (WLL) of the clip or hook to ensure it will work for your intended use. These snap shackles are designed to be quickly and easily opened, so we recommend that you consider these shackles to meet your application’s workload before purchasing them. Also, we advise that you do not use these to lift heavy loads, so be cautious.

Learn More About Shackles in this Video

In this short video, Lacy talks about other types of shackles and brands we have available.

source: US Cargo Control

If you would like to know more about these snap shackles or the other shackles, check out the complete shackles section of the USCC website, or call our team of experts at 800-404-7068.

New Product Line Alert: Crosby® Chain Slings

The full line of Crosby® chain slings, including adjustable chain slings with the revolutionary Crosby Eliminator® system, is now available through USCC.

American-made 1-leg, 2-leg, 3-leg, and 4-leg chain slings now available through USCC in standard and adjustable styles.

crosby single leg chain sling
crosby 2-leg chain sling
crosby 3-leg chain slings
crosby 4-leg chain sling

The full line of Crosby® chain slings, including adjustable chain slings with the revolutionary Crosby Eliminator ® system, is now available from US Cargo Control. These premium rigging slings are 100% made in America using high-strength grade 100 chain. As an authorized Crosby® distributor, we’re proud to be one of a small number of distributors to offer these slings.

The Crosby® Difference

There’s a reason US Cargo Control offers a number of different Crosby® rigging and lifting products; they’re extremely innovative and built to last. From forging massive rigging shackles that are strong enough to lift the Statue of Liberty to non-marring lifting clamps that are gentle enough to lift sheets of glass, Crosby® has been a leading manufacturer of rigging and lifting equipment for well over a hundred years. Professionals worldwide look to them to set the standard for quality, training, and technical expertise in their field.

Because Crosby® handles all manufacturing in-house (including forging, assembly, and finishing), they are in complete control of their product and its quality. Check out the video below to learn more about how the Crosby® rigging hardware supply chain works compared to other supply chains with outsourced manufacturers.

source: Crosby®

What’s the Big Deal About the Crosby Eliminator®?

One of the most noticeable ways that the Crosby® line of chain slings stands out is in the new Crosby Eliminator® component found on Crosby® adjustable chain slings. This revolutionary chain sling fitting is designed to save riggers time and money by combining features and functionality of a master link, connecting link, grab hook, and adjuster legs.

crosby eliminator
Crosby® Eliminator with double hook

Like other adjustable chain slings, adjustment of the chain length leg can be accomplished by placing the chain in the connector link. Where the Crosby Eliminator® differs is in the fact that it comes in both single hook and double hook styles. With single and double-leg Crosby® adjustable slings, the top bail Eliminator® serves as the master link, which removes the need for an additional master link. Three and four-leg Crosby® slings need only one master link to connect the two Eliminator® fittings. This results in a simpler and lighter chain sling with strength and durability that rivals any competitor.

source: Crosby®

Crosby® Chain Sling Hook Options

There are several hook options for you to choose from. Give our sales team a call to understand all the options for custom chain slings.

Sling Hook

As the name suggests, sling hooks are commonly used at the ends of slings and wire rope. They have a large throat and are typically self-locking to avoid disconnect.

Foundry Hook

Foundry hooks have a wider opening than most other hooks which allow them to hold a wide range of attachments and help prevent load tipping.

Self-Locking Hook

Self-locking hooks are designed with safety in mind as their latches automatically close and lock under the weight of the load.

Grab Hook

Grab hooks are commonly used as shortening hooks in choke applications. They have a much more narrow opening which makes them ideal for attaching to chain.

hook options for crosby chain slings
From left to right: sling hook, foundry hook, self-locking hook, grab hook

Unsure which type of lifting sling you need? Check out our post on How to Choose a Lifting Sling and learn more about the difference between standard and adjustable chain slings.

When you’re ready to start lifting with these high-quality Crosby® chain slings, head over to the USCC website or give our sales team a call at 800-404-7068.

Wire Rope Basics

Understand the differences among different types of wire rope so you can buy with confidence.

Differences in Size, Construction, Lay, Core, Grade, Finish

Understanding the basics of wire rope will help guide you on how to choose the right wire rope for your job. Application, required strength, and environmental conditions all play a factor in determining the type of wire rope that is best for you.

wire rope basics

But when it comes to buying wire rope, the various numbers and abbreviations that describe the different types of wire rope can be confusing. EIPS wire rope, 6X19 IWRC wire rope, and lang lay wire rope are just some of the many variations available. But what does it all mean?

These wire rope basics will help you understand the differences among types of wire so you can buy with confidence.

1. Size

Displayed as inch or fractional inch measurements, the size indicates the diameter of the rope. Industry standards measure the rope at its widest point. A wide range of sizes are available from 1/8” wire rope to 2-1/2” wire rope. Thicker sized wire rope has a higher break strength. For example, our 3/8” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 15,100 lb. break strength while our 1-1/2” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 228,000 lb. break strength. 

2. Construction

Wire rope is composed of individual wires that are twisted to form strands. The strands are then twisted to form a rope construction.

7/16" stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction
7/16″ stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction


The numbers indicate its construction. For example: in 6X19 wire rope, as shown at left, the first number is the number of strands (6);  the second number is how many wires make up one strand (19).

Numbers may also be followed by a letter combination such as FW or WS which indicates how the outside layer is constructed.

FW= filler wire (same sizes throughout)

WS= Warrington Seale (combination of large and small)

3. Lay

Refers to the direction the wires and strands are twisted during the construction of the rope.

Regular lay 

When it comes to wire rope, regular lay is also referred to as right lay or ordinary lay. This indicates that the strands pass from left to right across the rope and the wires in the rope are laid in opposite direction to the lay of the strands. This type of construction is the most common and offers the widest range of applications for the rope.

Lang lay

This term indicates that the wires are twisted in the same direction as the strands. These ropes are generally more flexible and have increased wearing surface per wire than right lay ropes. Because the outside wires lie at an angle to the rope’s axis, internal stress is reduced making it more resistant to fatigue from bending. This type of rope is often used in construction, excavating, and mining applications.

4. Core

Refers to what makes up the center of the wire rope.

FC= fiber core

Fiber cores are made of vegetable (sisal, etc.) or synthetic (polypropylene, etc.) fiber and offer more elasticity.

IWRC= independent wire rope core

Independent wire rope cores offer more support to the outer strands and have a higher resistance to crushing and heat. Independent wire rope core also has less stretch and more strength.

5. Grade  

Refers to the grade of steel used. Classifications include:

IPS= improved plowed steel.

EIPS = extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than IPS).

EEIPS= extra extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than the EIPS).

GIPS= galvanized improved plowed steel; galvanized wires add corrosion resistance.

DGEIP= drawn galvanized improved plow steel; galvanized for corrosion resistance. Drawn wires generally have a higher break load than GIPS.

6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8" galvanized wire rope
6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8″ galvanized wire rope

6. Finish

This last tip on wire rope basics refers to the protective coating applied to the wire rope.

Bright

Made with uncoated wires manufactured from high carbon steel.

Galvanized

Provides extra corrosion resistance.

Stainless Steel

Highly resistant to corrosion and is commonly used in marine applications.

8 x 19 EIPS IWRC bright 3/4" wire rope
3/4″ bright wire rope: 8 x 19 EIPS IWRC

Many of our customers use our wire rope and our wire rope clips to create wire rope assemblies. Check out of video blog on How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies to learn more.

10 Types of Material Handling Equipment You Never Knew We Sold

The product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

From pallet lifters to personnel baskets, we have the industrial material handling equipment you need.

Even though we’re best known for our high-quality ratchet straps, the product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

We have an entire selection of rigging and lifting equipment that includes everything from Crosby shackles to Pewag chain slings.

And if you’ve read our blog articles before, you know all about how to use our plate clamps plus the main benefits of buying a manual chain hoist over an electric chain hoist.

But, did you know we also sell a large selection of industrial material handling equipment from Machining & Welding (M&W), a material handling solutions provider out of Cokato, Minnesota?

Here’s a look at the 10 types of material handling equipment you probably never knew we sold, plus what it’s used for.

1. Bottle Lifters

propane tank or gas mover for forklift lifting

This one needs little explanation. It’s specifically designed to lift heavy bottles of compressed gas and other types of cylinders that need to be elevated on a job site or in a warehouse.

We sell two sizes of bottle lifters: a 2-tank lifter with 750 lb. WLL and a 4-tank with 1,500 lb. WLL. Both types have adjustable straps to hold different sized tanks and lockable doors for extra security.

2. Concrete Barrier Lifting Clamp

concrete block lifting device grabber

Concrete barriers are used for all sorts of things, but most commonly you see them on highways being used as traffic barriers. No matter where they are, those concrete barriers are heavy and this is the piece of equipment needed to move them.

This concrete barrier lifting clamp has a large eye for a crane hook to slide into and can handle barriers with a top width of between 6 and 12 inches.

3. Forklift Lifting Beams

forklift lifting beam

Unlike our other lifting beam and spreader bars that are designed for use with a crane, these compact but powerful forklift lifting beams are made specifically for a forklift.

You just slide the beam on the forks, tighten it up, and then secure a shackle and hook (or whatever lifting hardware you’re using) through the eye in the middle of the beam. It essentially turns your forklift into a mini-crane that can safely lift up to 10,000 lbs.

4. Crane Pallet Lifters

manual pallet lifting bar for crane or hoist

Just like how the forklift lifting beam turns a forklift into a crane, this adjustable pallet lifter essentially turns a crane into a forklift with its parallel forks and precise pallet grabbing ability.

This pallet lifter is designed to efficiently move pallets, skids, and crates up to 4,000 lbs. and can be used with either a crane or overhead hoist. The fact that it’s adjustable means you can ensure the load stays level while in motion.

5. Plate Lifting Hook

steel plate lifting hook for chain slings

These massive hooks are specifically designed for lifting steel plate and come with a safety shackle for quick connection. It’s recommended that they only are used with three and four-leg chain slings and the plates should always be at a horizontal 45-degree angle.

The working load limit on these made in the USA plate lifting hooks ranges from 4,300 lbs. up to 15,000 lbs and the powder-coated finish helps ensure they’re a long-lasting hook.

6. Container Lifting Lugs

lifting lugs for lugger container

These strong lifting lugs are able to handle various types of large metal containers but are primarily designed for lugger containers and other material containers with bottom lifting slots.

We have both lefthand and righthand lifting lugs, as well as straight lugs that are typically used with a spreader or lifting beam. These container lifting lugs have a 19,000-lb. working load limit.

7. Bar Tong Lifters

pipe lifting equipment for hoist

This interesting piece of industrial material handling equipment is specifically designed to lift and move round bars and pipe and can be used with either a hoist or a crane. It fits pipes and other cylindrical objects as wide as 4 inches, has a built-in lifting shackle for quick connection, and a 1,000-lb. working load limit.

This bar tong lifter is powder coated yellow for increased visibility.

8. Reel Lifters

reel turner material handling equipment

These reel lifters (or reel turners) allow you to flip reels, such as reels of cable, from rolling to non-rolling position quickly and easily. They have a durable carrying handle and wide eye for a fast connection.

We sell reel lifters with a 3,000-lb. WLL and ones with a 4,5000-lb. WLL.

9. Material Baskets & Personnel Baskets

lugger basket for material
personnel basket for job site transport

Whether you need to safely lower scrap materials from an elevated job site, or get the crew safely up to the job site, we have you covered with a wide variety of material baskets and personnel baskets.

The material baskets offer a variety of high-strength anchor points and lifting versatility, and there are convenient features on the personnel baskets like removable roofs and non-slip steel floors.

10. Forklift Pocket Lifters

pocket lifter for forklift material handling

This last type of material handling equipment is another versatile way to turn your forklift into a convenient lifting device. You can attach these lifters to those awkward objects that have no pockets for the forks to slide into.

We have forklift pocket lifters in a variety of widths (4 inches to 7 inches) and working load limits (3,000 lbs. to 5,000 lbs.). They’re durable and great to use on the job site or in the warehouse.

Help a Worthy Cause by Simply Choosing Crosby® Wire Rope Clips

Make a difference in the lives of military children who have lost a parent by simply choosing Crosby® brand wire rope clips.

From now through the end of June, you can make a difference in the lives of military children who have lost a parent by simply choosing Crosby® brand wire rope clips.

Crosby®, the world’s largest manufacturer of lifting, rigging, and material handling hardware, is dedicated to donating up to $25,000 to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation based on sales of its popular wire rope clips.

The Cause

The Fallen Patriots Foundation provides college scholarships and education counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

According to Fallen Patriots, approximately 20,000 children have lost an active duty parent in the military over the last 35 years. Of those, 97% of casualties are men, leaving behind single mothers to care for their families, and 60% report having trouble making ends meet.

Fallen Patriots has enrolled thousands of children and granted millions in scholarships to hundreds of students. Now it’s your chance to step up and help this great cause continue to do what they do, while also getting a high-quality wire rope clip from a trusted hardware manufacturer.

The Clips

Wire rope clips have a wide variety of uses in many different industries including oil & gas, construction, and manufacturing. Not only is Crosby® a trusted manufacturer of wire rope clips, but it was, in fact, Oliver Crosby who invented the wire rope clip back in 1888.

Today, their two most popular clips are the G-450 Galvanized Wire Rope Clip and the G-429 Fist Grip Wire Rope Clips.

Crosby® G-450 Wire Rope Clip

traditional wire rope clip from crosby

This popular drop forged, galvanized wire rope clip features Crosby’s signature Red-U-Bolt® for quick identification. With its traditional U-bolt style, saddle, and nuts – the versatile G-450 is suitable for a wide variety of heavy-duty rigging jobs. Available in a range of sizes from 1/8″ up to 3-1/2″.

Crosby® G-429 Fist Grip Wire Rope Clips

small wire rope clip fist grip style forged steel

Unlike traditional wire rope clips, the Crosby® Fist Grip Clip is comprised of bolts and heavy hex nuts. The bolts are an integral part of the forged steel saddle and the nuts can be installed in a way that allows the rigger to swing the wrench in a full arc for fast installation. Sizes range from 3/16″ up to 1-1/2″.

In past blog articles, we give more details about how to safely use wire rope clips and share some of the unique things our customers have built with wire rope clips.

The Contest

As a way to give everyone a chance to show their support for Children of Fallen Patriots, Crosby® has also launched a photo contest that awards two winners each week with a free Fallen Patriots polo shirt and Crosby® hat.

All you have to do is upload your photo of a Crosby® clip application to riggingforthetroops.com and then follow Crosby® on social media to see the weekly winners.

If you use wire rope clips, support this worthy cause by choosing Crosby® wire rope clips. Crosby® clips are available through USCC here.

This New Shackle is Strong Enough to Help Lift the Statue of Liberty

If the 305-foot tall national monument ever did need to be moved, the new Crosby® G-2140E Easy-Loc Shackles could be ready to handle the load faster than any other shackle.

Revolutionary G-2140E Crosby® Shackles have a WLL Range of 200-300 Metric Tons and Save Riggers’ Time by up to 90% (video below)

To put this mammoth of a shackle into perspective, the 300-ton WLL version of the alloy steel G-2140E shackle is over 1.5-feet tall and weighs a whopping 791 pounds.

Coming in at a hefty 450,000 pounds, Lady Liberty isn’t leaving her home on Ellis Island anytime soon. But if the 305-foot tall national monument ever did need to be moved, the new Crosby® G-2140E Easy-Loc Shackles would be ready to handle the load (except the 200-ton which comes in just under the required WLL).

However, all fictional scenarios aside, a shackle with a 300-ton WLL is nothing new. In fact, we sell the standard Crosby® G 2140 Bolt Type Alloy Shackles with load limits up to 400-tons. And we have Crosby® Wide Body Sling Shackles that get all the way up to an incredible 1,550-ton WLL.

where to buy the crosby g2140E shackle
The new Crosby® G-2140E Shackle meets or exceeds all ASME B30.26 requirements. Source: Crosby®

3 Really Big Benefits of the G- 2140E Crosby® Shackle

The real benefit of the G-2140E shackle is found in its new Easy-Loc® feature that is said to reduce heavy lift install and release time by as much as 90% over traditional securement methods, such as the classic nut and cotter pin shackle design.

This ingenious design takes away the time-consuming need to thread a nut on the shackle bolt, insert a cotter pin, and use tools to secure it properly.

G2140E crosby shackle securement hardware
The Easy-Loc replaces nuts and cotter pins, making 10-second installation time possible. Source: Crosby®

1. Easy-Loc® Securement Saves Time & Money

Instead, the industry first Easy-Loc® design allows you to simply push down on a release button to quickly open the collar. Then simply slide the bolt in through the shackle and replace the Easy-Loc jaw. The Easy-Loc® positive locking design even tells you that collar installation is complete as the arms will be locked into place.

2. It’s Lighter and Reduces Rust & Corrosion

On average, the Easy-Loc® hardware is nearly 40% lighter than traditional shackle nuts and the durable 316 stainless steel construction reduces rust and corrosion to help ensure it keeps working just as it should.

wide grip handle on G2140E from crosby
The ergonomic wide grip handle provides optimal rigging access for bolt handling. Source: Crosby®

3. New Wide Grip Handle Design Makes Rigging Safer and Easier

If all those benefits aren’t enough, Crosby® made the bolt on the revolutionary G 2140E with a new wide grip handle that increases application and handling efficiency while also reducing the chance for hazardous pinch points or bolt coiling.

G-2140E Easy-Loc Video from Crosby®

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=-apqPhFAdag?rel=0

Not needing to lift the Statue of Liberty today? Check out our whole selection of shackles and other rigging hardware to find exactly what you want, and to get it when you need it.

How to Tell When It’s Time for New Rigging Gear

Whether you’re inspecting wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs of potential rigging equipment failure.

rigging gear inspection checklist

Stay safe and compliant with these rigging gear inspection tips.

The best way to tell if it’s time to upgrade your rigging and lifting gear starts with regular inspections, ideally before and after each use. When you’re trying to get a job done, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of inspecting your gear. But, compared to the alternatives options of either failing an official inspection or having your gear fail while in use, regular rigging gear inspection is well worth it.

So, whether you’re using wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs to look for when inspecting your rigging gear.

Wire Rope Inspection

inspection checklist for wire rope

Wire rope is often combined with wire rope clips and thimbles and also used in wire rope slings that are great for a variety of lifts. It’s also commonly used on specialty vehicles, like tow trucks, as a winch line. Between load stress, environmental conditions, and abrasion, there are many factors that can shorten the life of wire rope.

Regularly inspect your wire rope and discard it if any of the following is evident:

  • Excessive broken wire
  • Distortion or kinking
  • Severe corrosion
  • Shiny worn spots on the outside of the rope
  • A one-third reduction in the outer wire diameter
  • Damaged or displaced hooks, link, rings, or other end fittings

Chain Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for chain slings

Yes, even the strongest chain slings, like a mighty grade 120 chain sling, can become overly stressed and eventually unsafe to continue using. Heat, chemicals, and heavy loads all take a toll on a chain slings longevity.

If you notice any of the following on your chain slings, cut them up into 3′ to 4′ lengths (to prevent salvaging) and then recycle them:

  • Stretched or overly-elongated links
  • Kinks or binding
  • Nicks or gouges in links

Synthetic Web Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for synthetic web slings

The softness and flexibility of polyester and nylon lifting slings make them great for lifting fragile or expensive cargo. But just because they’re lifting delicately, doesn’t mean that can’t become worn out and dangerous to use.

Discontinue use and cut the sling into 3′ to 4′ lengths (and cut the eye) if you notice any of the following:

  • Snags, tears, or cuts
  • Melting or charring of any surface area
  • Acid or caustic burns
  • Broken or worn stitching
  • Elongation that exceeds manufacturer’s recommendation
  • Distortion of any fittings

Polyester Round Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for polyester round slings

Round slings are a versatile, strong, and cost-efficient tool for lifting a variety of cargo types. Polyester round slings contain a continuous loop of polyester yarn inside and a durable polyester fabric on the outside that is usually color-coded by lifting capacity.

While round slings are able to handle large loads, even the smallest rip, cut, or tear is enough to make it unsafe for use. If you notice these issues during inspection, cut the sling in half to retire it from service:

  • Exposure of the yarn core or broken or damaged yarn
  • Heat damage
  • Discolored, brittle, or stiff areas
  • Acid or caustic burns

Rigging Hardware Inspection

inspection checklist for rigging hardware

Common pieces of rigging hardware used for lifts include: shackles, turnbuckles, hooks, links and swivels, rings, wire rope clips, and thimbles. The integrity of these smaller items is vital to rigging safety.

Prior to using rigging hardware, visually inspect each piece and discontinue use if you notice the following:

  • Excessive nicks, gouges, or corrosion
  • Bent, twisted, elongated, or cracked load-bearing components
  • Reduction in original dimension by 10% or more
  • Indication of heat damage
  • Missing or illegible load rating information

Purchase Smart, Use With Confidence

If any of the above signs are evident during your routine inspection, it’s likely time to replace your rigging gear. Similar to knowing your rigging inspection checklist, it’s helpful to learn what to look for when buying rigging and lifting gear so you can always ensure that you’re using the best equipment for the job, and enjoy years of safe use.

For official rigging equipment inspection requirements see OSHA section 1926.251.

8 Practical Present Ideas for the Holidays

Practical presents are the obvious choice for those people on your holiday gift list who say there’s nothing they want or need. When you get someone a practical gift, you enjoy the certainty of knowing that one way or another, it will come in handy for them. Plus, you get the satisfaction of surprising them with something they didn’t necessarily ask for or expect to get.

To help guide your holiday shopping this year, and make it as painless as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most practical cargo control gifts for 2018. 

 

Moving Supplies

1. Moving Blanket

using a moving blanket as a dog bed

This first practical present idea comes in handy for way more than just protecting furniture during a move. Not only can moving blankets be used as portable pet beds (on couches, car seats, or dog house) they can also be used as a soft place to lay or sit when boating, camping, hunting, or at a sporting event. We also have sound blankets that are great for recording studios or to drown out a noisy neighbor. 

 

Truck and Trailer Gear

2. Cargo Net

cargo net on pickup truck flatbed

Cargo nets are an excellent gift for pick-up truck owners. They’re lighter and easier to manage compared to tarps, and they still do a great job at securing cargo. US Cargo Control has short bed truck cargo nets and long bed truck cargo nets. Both come with cam buckles and S-hooks for quick securement. We also sell small cargo nets for motorcycles and mopeds.

 

3. Recovery Straps

where to get recovery straps

Anyone who owns a pick-up truck or even a large SUV should keep a recovery strap in their vehicle at all times, especially during the winter months. If you know someone who likes offroading or mudding, this gift is a no-brainer for them. Our recovery straps are made in the USA and designed for both recovery and towing use.

 

4. Car Tie-Downs

image of adjustable wheel net

If you need a practical present for a car collector, mechanic, or tow truck driver, auto tie-down straps are a perfect choice. Auto tie-downs are really only practical for someone who frequently hauls vehicles or someone who owns a flatbed trailer or tow dolly. USCC has both wheels nets and tow dolly straps for sale.

 

5. Ratchet Straps

yellow ratchet straps in truck bed holding a kayak secure

A person can never have enough ratchet straps. And US Cargo Control has one of the largest selection of ratchet straps, cam straps, and heavy-duty tie downs that you’ll find anywhere. Hunters and outdoorsmen love our camo ratchet straps and if the person on your list ever hauls heavy cargo, our BlackLine ratchet straps have the strongest break strength in the industry.

 

6. Good-N-Tight Ratchet Handle

tool for tightening ratchet straps

If you know someone who frequently tightens ratchet straps, the Good-N-Tight ratchet strap tightening handle would be a super helpful gift for them. It’s built for 2″, 3″, and 4″ ratchet straps and makes tightening them up a breeze. Plus, the Good-N-Tight handle reduces back stress and the potential for injury.

 

7. USCC Apparel

trucking industry clothing

Clothing is always a great practical present idea. Everyone needs it. Give the present of warmth this holiday with our pullover style hooded sweatshirt with a double-lined hood. We also have branded mechanics gloves, USCC trucker caps, and stainless steel tumblers that keep drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for up to 6 hours.

 

Lifting Equipment

8. Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton

If you’re really feeling generous this holiday, give the practical gift of massive lifting power with a Columbus McKinnon Chain Hoist or Coffing Chain Hoist. These powerful tools make a great gift for hunters, farmers, construction workers, and mechanics. Chain hoists can lift anything from engines and building materials to animal feed and can even be used as a fast way to skin a deer.

 

Expected Delivery Time

There you have it. 8 practical present ideas for the 2018 holiday season. Don’t wait until it’s too late, place your order today to ensure these gifts arrive on time. 

Orders placed before 4pm Central time will ship out the same day, and delivery to most of the United States takes just 1-3 days.

From the USCC family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday. 

 

4 Tips for Buying the Right Rigging & Lifting Equipment

If you work in the rigging and lifting industry you know that, when lives are on the line, close is never close enough. Safety measures, procedures, and equipment specs have to be spot-on.

Maintaining a safe job site starts with having the proper equipment for the job. But, with thousands of different rigging products, each with their own distinct characteristics, capabilities, and reputation, many riggers face the struggle of trying to choose the correct rigging and lifting equipment for the job.

Here are the 4 main things to pay attention to when deciding which rigging and lifting products are best for your particular job.

 

1. Assess what your lifting

To start, you need to assess the object or objects you are needing to lift or rig up. Does the object have sharp corners? Where is the center of gravity in your load? How much lifting space do you have? Asking these questions first will help to narrow down the potential rigging gear you can safely and effectively use for the job.

 

 

2. Know your Load Limit

working load limit on lifting gear for safety

Working load limit is the maximum weight that can safely be applied to a given piece of rigging equipment. It’s different for each individual piece of equipment, so be sure to pay close attention to this when selecting your rigging and lifting gear. Just one weak area puts the entire operation at risk. Check the weight of your load first, then ensure that you only buy equipment that is rated for that weight or more.

 

 

3. Consider Temperature & Environment

tips for choosing best rigging and lifting equipment

In applications that experience extremely high or low temperatures, certain equipment may not operate properly. For example, if you’re working in a high-heat environment, you will want to use wire rope with an independent wire rope core (IWRC) instead of a fiber core (FC). Also, consider the worksite environment. If saltwater is a factor, buy stainless steel rigging gear to prevent corrosion.

 

 

4. Opt for Quality

high quality lifting and rigging gear for manufacturing industry

Strength and durability is the name of the game when it comes to rigging and lifting gear. For the best chance of avoiding accidents and equipment that wears out quickly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re purchasing high-quality rigging equipment from trustworthy sources. It may not always be the most affordable choice, but it will be the smartest choice in the long run.

 

The importance of buying the right equipment is clear when you consider the stakes of lifting and handling heavy loads. Don’t guess. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the job at hand before buying. When you do buy rigging and lifting supplies, be sure to check all the manufacturer specifications and ask questions if you’re unsure.

USCC has a team of dedicated product consultants that are just a phone call away. If you have product questions or would like to place an order over the phone instead of on our website, give them a call at 800-404-7068.

 

3 Reasons to Buy a Manual Chain Hoist over an Electric Chain Hoist

Chain hoists are simple devices that give you a massive mechanical advantage. By leveraging small force over a long distance and transforming it to large force over a short distance, chain hoists are able to accomplish heavy lifts and pulls that would otherwise be impossible for a person to accomplish alone.

Chain hoists can be either electric or manual, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. In this post, we will focus on manual chain hoists.

 

Manual Chain Hoist Advantages

hand hoist vs. lever hoistWhile manual chain hoists won’t lift quite as fast and effortlessly as electric hoists, there are many advantages to owning a manual chain hoist.

1. Manual chain hoists don’t require any electricity or power source. This makes them much more portable compared to electric hoists.

2. Manual hoists are more cost-efficient compared to electric or hydraulic hoists. Not only do electric hoists cost more initially, but they also raise electricity bills.

3. The simple design of manual hoists makes them easier to repair and maintain. No complex motors, wires, or electrical/hydraulic systems.

 

Although electric chain hoists are able to lift heavier loads, manual hoists can still have working load limits (WLL) up to 20 tons. As long as what your lifting is below that, there’s no reason not to opt for a manual hoist.

There are two main styles of manual chain hoists to choose from: hand hoists and lever hoists.

 

Hand Chain Hoists

Hand hoists have a simplistic design and are easy to operate and maintain.

Hand hoists require the use of both your hands to operate. As you pull one chain, a wheel turns a series of cogs, axles, gears, and sprockets and in turn rotates the second load chain to lift or pull your load. The lifting mechanism is designed to do most of the work for you. To ensure your safety and the safety of the load, many chain hoists have a braking system that prevents the load from slipping back. Unlike lever hoists, hand hoists are ideal for high vertical loads. You can continue to operate the pulling chain from the ground even when the hoist is positioned up high.

US Cargo Control sells both Columbus McKinnon hand hoists and Coffing hand hoists.

 

advantages of a hand hoist
CM Series 622 Hand Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton
CM Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist

Coffing LHH Hand Chain Hoist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus McKinnon Manual Hand Hoist Models

  • CM 622 Hoist – a construction-grade hand hoist with low headroom and easy installation. 1/2 ton to 5 ton WLL.
  • CM Hurricane 360 Hoist – this hand hoist has a chain cover that rotates 360° so loads can be lifted, pulled, and positioned from nearly any angle. WLL ranges from 1/2 ton to 10 tons.
  • CM Cyclone Hoist – a high-quality, rigorously tested hand hoist that is 100% American made. Choose from 1/4 ton to 10 ton WLL.

 

Coffing Manual Hand Hoists Models

  • Coffing LHH Hoist – the compact design of this hand hoist makes it portable and easy to inspect and maintain. It also has low headroom and a WLL range of 1/2 ton to 20 tons.

 

Lever Chain Hoists

Lever hoists are also quite easy to operate and maintain. To operate them, you simply crank a side lever that is attached directly to the lifting mechanism. Unlike hand hoists, lever hoists can be operated using just one hand. This makes them ideal for horizontal, angled, and low vertical loads. Because the lever handle is located up next to the lifting mechanism, you must be close to the point of hook-up to operate.

US Cargo Control sells quality Columbus McKinnon (CM) lever hoists and Coffing lever hoists.

 

3 ton lever chain hoist
CM Series 653 Lever Chain Hoist

ratchet lever chain hoist
CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist

mini lever chain hoist
CM Mini Series 602 Lever Chain Hoist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CM Lever Chain Hoists

  • CM 653 Hoist – this is a construction-grade lever hoist with a very short handle. Ideal for working in small spaces. WLL range from 3/4 ton up to 6 tons.
  • CM Bandit Hoist– this durable hoist is assembled in the USA with American made hooks and chain. Extremely portable and versatile with a 360° rotating handle. 3/4 ton to 6 ton WLL.
  • CM Tornado 360 Hoist – has a unique sidewinder lever handle that improves both lifting and pulling efficiency. Ergonomic design increases safety. Choose among 3/4 ton WLL to 6 tons, with load limiters as an option.
  • CM Mini Series 602 Hoist – this is the most compact lever chain hoist available. Extremely portable as it weighs only 6 to 7 pounds. Quick to load with a 1/4 ton working load limit.
  • CM Mini Series 603 Hoist – another extremely compact and portable chain hoist that features quick load attachment. Not quite as light but has a 1/2 ton working load limit.

 

Coffing Chain Hoists

  • Coffing LSB Hoist – this lever hoist features a through-hardened load chain and lifetime lubricated gears. 360° rotating handle for versatile rigging options. WLL ranges from 3/4 ton up to 6 tons.

 

Chain Hoist Video

Lacy has more information on the chain hoists we sell in the video below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ5TfYDU1Xg?rel=0

How to Use Plate Clamps Safely and Effectively

Plate clamps, or sheet clamps, make difficult lifts safer and easier. While these strong lifting tools allow for faster production speeds, they should not be used haphazardly. The use of plate lifting clamps requires an operator who is trained on their use and who takes safety seriously.

 

how to use plate lifting clamp
Remember to always position the plate clamp over the center of gravity to maximize control.

How Plate Clamps Work

Plate clamps eliminate the need for drilling or creating a hitch. The most important parts of a plate clamp include the lifting shackle, spring, teeth within the jaw, and the various links and pins. To lift a plate, the teeth of the plate clamp need to be pushed into the plate. With help from the powerful spring,  this turns the lifting point of the clamp into the lifting point of the plate and essentially causes the two objects to become one.

What’s great about plate clamps is that their grip strength automatically increases as the load gets heavier. Essentially, the weight of the load determines how much link tension there will be and the link tension determines jaw torque and ultimately grip strength. Learn more about what this means below.

 

How to Pick the Proper Size and Type of Plate Clamp

Choosing the proper size plate clamp will not only maximize safety but also extend the life of the plate clamp. To do this, you should buy a clamp with the closest working load limit (WLL) to the weight of the plate being lifted. This ensures that the jaw provides optimal clamping force and penetration. Keep in mind that bigger is not always better with plate clamps. There are minimum load requirements because a load that is too light will not be able to create sufficient grip strength. That’s why most plate clamps have both minimum and maximum load requirements stamped on them. It’s recommended that you avoid lifting a load that’s 20% below the rated capacity of the clamp.

plate lifting clamps without teeth
This Crosby® IPNM10P non-marring lifting clamp lifts plates without damage or scratching

You also need to pay close attention to the max jaw capacity of the plate clamp.  Jaw capacity should be as close as possible to the thickness of the material you’re lifting.

Lastly, you should not be lifting plates that have a surface that is harder than the teeth of the clamp. For plates that have an extremely hard surface or a surface which could be easily damaged, there are certain types of lifting clamps that have a non-marring jaw and no teeth. Examples of this are the Crosby® IPNM10 Lifting Clamps and the Terrier TNMK/TNMKA Lifting Clamps.

 

 

Safety Tips for Vertical Plate Lifting Clamps

Vertical plate lifting clamps can lift and turn over flat plates 180 degrees and can be used to transport plates in a vertical position.

Vertical lifting clamps should never be sideloaded and you should never try to lift more than one plate at a time. If you’re lifting a long plate, you should consider using two clamps connected to a spreader bar to minimize swing and maximize lifting safety. Also, keep in mind that plates which are hot in temperature can damage the structural integrity of the plate clamp. Columbus McKinnon recommends that you do not lift plates that are 250 degrees or higher.

 

Safety Tips for Horizontal Plate Lifting Clamps

spreader bar for lifting clamps
Spreader bars like this one are ideal for lifting long plates.

Just as their name suggests, horizontal lifting clamps are used to lift horizontal objects.

If you are lifting a long plate horizontally, never use a quad sling. This will cause the horizontal clamps to turn and potentially slip off. Instead, use a spreader bar with double-leg slings that connect to the plate clamp. When it comes to lifting short plates horizontally, one double sling with horizontal plate clamps on each end will suffice. To maintain proper lifting strength and control, always ensure there is a minimum included angle of at least 90 degrees. Never use vertical plate clamps for a horizontal lift.

 

How to Inspect and Care for Plate Clamps

Lifting clamps should be inspected every 1-4 weeks depending on use. To prevent plates from slipping, you should degrease clamps regularly and remove any grit, dirt, or mud. You should also lubricate the moving parts of the clamp, but never lubricate the teeth of a lifting clamp.  Check the teeth regularly for chips and breaks. According to ASME standards, chipped teeth are only acceptable if the chip is less than half the width of the tooth and the adjoining teeth are undamaged. If there is any tooth damage beyond this, the plate lifting clamp is not safe to use.

Other things to look for when inspecting plate lifting clamps include spring deformation, pad deformation, bending of hook ring, markings on top of the mouth, wear on any pins, pulling on rivets, and hook elongation.

minimize swing on a crane
For full inspection instructions, refer to ASME B30.20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stated above, choosing the proper size and type of lifting clamp is the best way to ensure longer plate clamp life. Another thing that riggers can do to care for their plate lifting clamps is to minimize swing during the lift. Less swing results in less stress on the lifting clamp and a good crane operator knows how to minimize swing.

 

If you have any other questions about plate clamps let us know in the comment section below. 

 

Buy Plate Clamps

US Cargo Control is proud to sell both Crosby® Lifting Clamps and Terrier Lifting Clamps. We are confident in the quality that these brands offer the rigging and lifting industry.

How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies

This video shows you how to safely apply wire rope clips to wire rope assemblies. Depending on the size of your assembly, two to three wire rope clips are generally required. See below for a full transcript of the video. 

 

 

For more information on the differences among wire rope clips and how to choose the correct one, see our How to Use Wire Rope Clips post.

Safety Notes: Always inspect wire rope for wear and abuse before applying wire rope clips. Apply wire rope clips over bare wire rope only. Use wire rope thimbles to protect the eye from being crushed and to prevent wear and abrasion on the rope.  Never use a wire rope clip to directly connect two straight lengths of wire rope.
 

An important phrase to remember when applying a wire rope clip is “Never Saddle a Dead Horse”. This means you should never apply the saddle side of the clip over the dead end of the rope – the live end should always rest in the saddle. See above video for a demonstration. 

Step 1.   

Turn back the specified amount of rope from the thimble. Apply first clip one base width from the dead end of the rope. Tighten nuts evenly, alternating from one nut to the other until reaching the recommended torque. 

Step 2.  

If only two clips are required, apply the second clip as near the loop or thimble as possible. Remember, U-Bolt over dead end. Tighten nuts evenly, alternating until reaching the recommended torque.  

When applying more than two clips, apply the second clip as near the loop or thimble as possible, turn nuts on second clip firmly, but do not tighten.  

Step 3.   

Space additional clips equally between the first two. Apply tension and then tighten the nuts on each clip evenly, alternating from one nut to the other until reaching recommended torque. 

 

Purchase Wire Rope Clips and more from US Cargo Control 

From wire rope, wire rope clips, and wire rope thimbles, to chain hoists and material handling equipment, US Cargo Control has your rigging and lifting equipment needs covered. Visit US Cargo Control.com or call 866-444-9990.  With teams of dedicated consultants, we make sure you get what you want, when you need it.